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LatinNews Daily - 22 July 2021

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In brief: Mexico’s urban expansion costly, says study

* A report presented by the Mexican branch of the World Resources Institute (WRI), a non-profit organisation, has found that the costs incurred by urban expansion in Mexico, notably the provision of public services to the new peripheries and households’ commuting from them, can cost upwards of 1% of Mexico’s GDP annually. To calculate the economic cost of the expansion of Mexico’s urban peripheries, the study looked at four factors – the costs of constructing homes and their urbanisation; emissions resulting from the construction; the cost of the commute; and the cost of providing basic services – in eight metropolitan regions in the country (Valle de México, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Tijuana, Reynosa, Mérida, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, and Culiacán). The report concludes that the current model of urban expansion is financially unsustainable, estimating that cities would have to increase their income by between 48% and 244% to meet the increased costs of delivering quality public services to the expanded urban area. Suggestions for remedying this include constructing new homes close to places of work, a policy which would notably benefit the more vulnerable segments of the population.